West Point pays tribute to first female 4-star-general in the history of the U.S Army

In 2008, General Dunwoody became the first woman in the U.S. military to achieve a four-star officer rank.


Women have become important part of the military during the last years. The number of female soldiers and generals is getting higher and higher and they have been recognized as valuable and even essential members of the army.

Retired Gen. Ann Dunwoody was serving the country for over 38 years and received a number of medals and awards for her sacrifice and tireless work.

In 2008, she became the first woman in the U.S. military to achieve a four-star officer rank. Among the rest, she received the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. Gen. Dunwoody, who is a role model to many women who want to follow her path, has been recognized by France with its National Order of Merit. Two years ago, she was inducted in the inaugural class of the 82nd Airborne Division Hall of Fame.

Screencap via Time/YouTube

Before she retired in 2012, Gen. Dunwoody led the Army Materiel Command, which “manages the global supply chain, synchronizing logistics and sustainment activities across the Army.” Being part of the military was a huge honor for this brave woman. In fact, she somehow always knew that serving the country was her calling and that doesn’t come as a surprise knowing that most of her family members were part of the army, including her great-grandfather, her grandfather, her father, her brother and sister, as well as her niece and husband. So, it’s safe to say that the urge to keep Americans safe runs in her family.

However, coming from a family of veterans didn’t make things easier for Gen. Dunwoody as all she achieved is thanks to her passion and commitment.

Screencap via Time/YouTube

During a 2015 interview with Army Times, she said, “…I had advocates, then there were detractors. They just don’t like you, maybe they think it’s a man’s Army and women don’t belong here. The key is how you deal with people. You don’t stoop to name-calling. You be professional, demonstrate you’re capable and sometimes you convert people. In the military, people want the best leader on the team.” She then added, “I’ve watched doors open my entire career. Some are opened for you, some you have to kick down. I believe if someone is qualified, and I mean fully qualified, they should be able to go through that door.”


On October 10, 2019, she received the The Sylvanus Thayer Award. The West Point Association of Graduates gives this award “to a citizen of the United States, other than a West Point graduate, whose outstanding character, accomplishments, and stature in the civilian community draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: ‘Duty, Honor, Country.’”

Another woman who made history and paved the path to the world of military for other females is Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle who became the first black female tactical aircraft pilot in the US Navy.

In 2019, Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi became the Army’s first pair of sister generals.

We are glad women’s work has been recognized as they can offer as much as men can, if not more.

Below is Gen. Dunwoody video in which she speaks of her incredible career spanning almost four decades.